Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “spiral”

See all translations

spiral

noun [C] uk   /ˈspaɪə.rəl/ us    /ˈspaɪr.əl/
a shape made up of curves, each one above or wider than the one before: A corkscrew is spiral-shaped.downward spiral C2 a situation in which a price, etc. becomes lower, or a situation gets worse and is difficult to control because one bad event causes another: This year's downward spiral of house prices has depressed the market. We must avoid the downward spiral in which unemployment leads to homelessness and then to crime.
More examples

spiral

verb [I usually + adv/prep] uk   /ˈspaɪə.rəl/ us    /ˈspaɪr.əl/ (-ll- or US usually -l-)
to move in a spiral: With one wing damaged, the model airplane spiralled downwards. If costs, prices, etc. spiral, they increase faster and faster: Spiralling costs have squeezed profits.spiral downwards (of prices, etc.) to get less, at a faster and faster rate

spiral

adjective [before noun] uk   /ˈspaɪə.rəl/ us    /ˈspaɪr.əl/
shaped in a series of curves, each one above or wider than the one before: a spiral staircase a spiral galaxy
Translations of “spiral”
in Korean 나선형…
in Arabic حَلَزون…
in French en spirale…
in Turkish sarmal, spiral, helezon…
in Italian spirale…
in Chinese (Traditional) 螺旋形…
in Russian спираль…
in Polish spirala…
in Spanish espiral, en espiral…
in Portuguese espiral…
in German gewunden, Wendel-…, Spiral-……
in Catalan espiral…
in Japanese らせん, 渦巻き…
in Chinese (Simplified) 螺旋形…
(Definition of spiral from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of spiral?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “spiral” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More